The problem isn't so much the students as it is the resources afforded by the schools, the report said. Current standards require that students be taught by certified arts teachers, receive 108 hours of arts instruction and use a syllabus keyed into state requirements for arts classes.
By contrast, the state comptroller's office revealed that many of the students surveyed had uncertified teachers, no proof that the 108 hours required were completed or appropriate syllabi.
"Our audit reveals too many New York City schools may be cutting corners with arts education," DiNapoli said in a statement on Friday. "Students should be taught by certified teachers for the required number of hours each week. We all want to find the right formula to improve education, and improving arts instruction needs to be part of that equation."
The city's Department of Education told the New York Daily News that the report was flawed but that the agency was "committed to continuing to make sure that every student receives a high-quality arts education," according to department spokesman Harry Hartfield.
Last fall, shortly before the new administration stepped in, the City Council and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg passed a new law that requires the Department of Education to provide detailed annual reporting on its arts education programs.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, meanwhile, campaigned on the promise to establish a four-year goal to ensure arts education in city schools comply with state standards.